To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han
Series: Sequel coming Spring 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Published: April 15th 2014
Genre: Young adult, contemporary, romance
Date read: May 6th 2014
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
“My letters are for when I don’t want to be in love anymore. They’re for good-bye… If love is like a posession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms.”
Before my exam period started, I read Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It is the first book in a two-book series, with the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You, coming out Spring 2015. The book revolves around Lara Jean Song, an American-Korean who writes letters to boys she concider being in love with. Writing the letters is her way of getting closure. When she writes, she holds nothing back. She writes like they’ll never read it, because they never will.
Lara Jean Song: When I first started reading this, I didn’t know if I would like Lara Jean that much. I partially blame her name and the fact that she writes love letters. But I was wrong. I still don’t fancy her name that much (sorry), but after reading only the first few chapters, I understand that there is more to it than just love letters. LJ is however a girl with pride. Lot of it. I don’t always agree with her decisions, but I understand her train of thoughts.
Peter Kavinsky: At the beginning of the story, LJ describes Peter as a self-absorbed fella who eats the last piece of pizza without checking with everybody first. As well as accusing him of stealing her first kiss. But throughout the book, Peter seems to develop into a more caring person. I agree with TheBookBasement that just because he isn’t as bad as we thought, he isn’t a good person. He is okay, but not the best. I’ve seen better boyfriend materials (*cough* St. Clair). However, I give him creds for having respect for adults and such. He did take off his shoes after asking “You guys are a no-shoes house, right?” and he did drive Kitty, her little sister, to school several time. Even developing a friendship with her. BUT, I dislike the fact that he keeps crawling back to his ex though. For god’s sake, cut the strings already.
The plot: I have a slightly bittersweet feeling towards the plot. Some parts of the story was way to cliché and predictable, such as the part where they fall for each other again. It’s bound to happend. But there’s something about Jenny Han’s writing that makes me still want to read it.
First of all, the Josh thing. Ok so I get it, Josh is Margot’s ex, hence back off. However, I don’t think that Margot had the right to go all nasty sister on LJ for the fact that Josh kissed LJ. Not the other way around. Obviously, LJ got the shizz for Peter, and hopefully Peter got the shizz for LJ too. And Josh is one heck of a guy. I don’t even know if I like him or not. In contrast to Peter, he does come off a bit more awkward and stuff, but he is a decent guy. I was therefore a bit disappointed when he kissed LJ. Excuse me Josh, what happened to Margot? I don’t know, man. That seemed a bit sketchy.
Second of all, the thing with Margot. It was sad to read that their mother had died because of something so minor yet not so uncommon. Naturally Margot, as the oldest sister, would step in and help their dad. However, when she went to Scotland, she couldn’t come back with that attitude, expecting everybody to helplessly need her like they used too. I was glad she got her stuff together. The relationship between the three sisters is something of the extraordinary. Being the oldest of five, where the oldest younger sibling being 5 years younger than me, I know how quarelling it can get. So I envy the fact that they can get along so well for their father’s sake. I was, however, very dissatisfied by Kitty’s motive when she confessed to LJ that it was she who had sent the letters. Especially concidering how much I just said I loved their relationship with each other.
All in all:
Recommendation: I guess I would recommend, but only for those who can deal with clichés to a certain degree. It is a good book, but it’s extremly lovey-dovey.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
It has been quite a while since I read this, so I’m sorry that this review might be a bit lacking.
UP NEXT: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler